Next Up at TCA: Fox


Wednesday, January 12, 2011




On the Winter Press Tour Menu:


Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:

Easy Victory for CBS


Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not

On the Air Tonight:

Prime-Time Programming Options


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest 


TV Trivia Time:

Not a Spin-Off


On the Winter Press Tour Menu:


Fox opened its TCA day with a number of announcements. The network has picked-up sitcom freshman sitcom Raising Hope for a second season, with an unspecified number of new episodes for 2011-12. “I’m happy that the show is getting another year,” said series creator Greg Garcia. “But the fact that I’ve been trying to think of a funny quote for the last two hours and this is the best I could come up with makes me a little nervous about season two,” he joked. 


Fox has also announced the debut date for epic family adventure series Terra Nova, which follows a typical family on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a massive experiment to save the human race. It opens with a two-night series preview on Monday, May 23 and Tuesday, May 24 at 9 p.m. ET. Similar to Glee last season, which also previewed in late May, Terra Nova will return next fall for its regularly scheduled series run.

Fox, in addition, will preview the upcoming untitled sketch comedy from Jamie Foxx on Thursday, March 31 at 9 p.m. out of American Idol.  It then returns in its regular time period on Thursday, June 9 at 9 p.m.   And dancer and choreographer Mary Murphy will return to perennial reality/competition So You Think You Can Dance this summer in place of the departed Mia Michaels. 


“Her expertise in dance, coupled with her warmth, compassion and humor, make her an excellent judge and fun to work with,” said Nigel Lythgoe, So You Think You Can Dance co-creator, executive producer and judge.


In the Fox executive session with Peter Rice, Chairman Entertainment, Fox Networks Group and Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company, the subject of moving American Idol was immediately addressed.


“We started looking at Thursday and felt there was an opportunity there,” said Kevin Reilly. “We didn’t want to reconstitute the schedule. Once Glee successfully created a beachhead over on Tuesday and we’re one-half hour away from a cohesive night there, we didn’t see a need to throw the cards up in the air. And we actually thought there was maybe even a little more competition. I expect The Big Bang Theory on CBS to do what it’s doing, and I think they’re two distinct shows. I don’t think it’s going to be a zero-sum game there.”


Regarding the arrival of The X-Factor next fall versus American Idol:


“The X-Factor has Simon Cowell and I think they are going to run at different times of the year,” said Peter Rice. “It may appear the same in form, but when you actually see it and experience it, you’ll see how different it is.”


Fringe, which is moving to Fridays at 9 p.m. (out of Kitchen Nightmares) has some of the critics concerned about its future.


“Fringe put us in business on Thursday night,” said Reilly. “We are looking to go a little bit broader with the rating. I want every one of those audience members to transfer to Friday. You already get about 50 percent of the audience watching it on DVR, as it is, on Thursday. I’d really hope those fans would stick with it, even if it means that DVR usage goes up a little bit more on Friday. It’s a fantastic show, and honestly, I’d be heartbroken if it went away.


In other news at Fox, the network has six unaired episodes of canceled Lone Star it is deciding what to do with, and recent entries Running Wilde and The Good Guys are officially canceled.


“As a schedule to build upon, there’s always been a lot of reshuffling of the deck,” said Reilly. “This may, with a little bit of luck, be the most stable schedule we’ve had, and it gives a lot of focus to our drama and comedy needs. Reestablishing our comedy credibility and getting comedy viewers back in the network again was our top priority. I think we are on our way. The development is starting to come in, in a very good way. Another show or two into that mix, and we are right there.”


Given Fox is down by double-digit percentages year-to-year, the network in fourth quarter was not necessarily stable. And unless American Idol, which always ignites the Fox, packs them in for this upcoming re-tooled 10th season, the network will have significant rebuilding to do. That said, this is certainly not the most stable schedule Fox has ever had. That is what you call wishful thinking.


Prime-Time Metered Market Tuesday Ratings:

Easy Victory for CBS


Tuesday 1/11/11
Note: The overnight data now includes DVR playback until 3 a.m. local time. One year earlier it was based on Live data only.



CBS 11.3/17
NBC   4.9/ 7
ABC   3.9/ 6
Fox     3.3/ 5
CW     0.7/ 1

-Note: The year-to-year overnight comparisons are not available today.

-Yesterday’s Winners:
NCIS (CBS), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), The Good Wife (CBS)
-Yesterday’s Losers (excluding repeats):
No Ordinary Family (ABC), V (ABC), Detroit 1-8-7 (ABC), Parenthood (NBC)
-Ratings Breakdown:

It was a clean overnight Tuesday sweep for CBS with its combination of NCIS (13.6 rating/20 share), spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles (11.4/17) and older skewing The Good Wife (8.8/14). Distant NBC aired two-hours of The Biggest Loser: Couples (5.5/ 8 from 8-10 p.m.), which always resonates among adults 18-49, and sophomore Parenthood (#3: 3.6/ 6), which no longer holds the potential of a long run like it did last spring. Here is the half-hour breakdown for The Biggest Loser: Couples:

The Biggest Loser: Couples (NBC)
8:00 p.m.: 5.5/ 8 (#2)
8:30 p.m.: 5.4/ 8 (#2)
9:00 p.m.: 5.5/ 8 (#2)
9:30 p.m.: 5.8/ 9 (#2)

Next up was ABC with its line-up of on-the-fence freshman drama No Ordinary Family (#3: 3.8/ 8), week two of the second season of V (#3: 4.2/ 6) and Detroit 1-8-7 (#2: 3.7/ 6), which will be replaced in April by long delayed Dana Delany crime solver Body of Proof. Compared to one week earlier (5.0/ 7 on January 4), V dipped by 16 percent.


Elsewhere, Fox populated the evening with a repeat of Glee (#4: 3.4/ 5) and recent game show entry Million Dollar Money Drop (#4: 3.3/ 5), which has lost steam after a promising start last month. And The CW aired encore telecasts of One Tree Hill (#5: 0.7/ 1) and Life Unexpected (#5: 0.6/ 1), which concludes with back-to-back episodes next Tuesday. Glee talent sighting at the Fox party last night: Jane Lynch.


Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

Ratings Box:

What’s Hot/What’s Not

-OWN Week 1:

No…this is not Oprah the talk show-sized ratings. But based on launch week (Saturday, January 1 – Sunday, January 9), OWN finished No. 25 overall among all cable networks in primetime, with 505,000 total viewers and a .41 rating among women 25.54. Comparably, this was up by double-digit percentages from Discovery Health from one year earlier.


-National Ratings in Primetime – Week of 1/03/11:

What follows are the results in primetime for the five broadcast networks for the week of January 3 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago period in parentheses), followed by the top 20 shows of the week in total viewers and adults 18-49, and the cable rankings. CBS has now finished first in total viewers for 14 out of the last 16 weeks. 

Total Viewers:

CBS: 9.73 million (- 1), NBC: 9.57 (- 8), Fox: 8.24 (-18), ABC: 7.34 (-24), CW: 1.10 million (- 2)

Adults 18-49:

NBC: 3.2 rating/9 share (- 9), Fox: 2.8/ 8 (-22), CBS: 2.3/ 6 (no change), ABC: 2.3/ 6 (-28), CW: 0.4/ 1 (no change)

Adults 25-54:

NBC: 3.7/ 9 (- 7), Fox: 3.2/ 8 (-20), CBS: 3.1/ 8 (no change), ABC: 2.8/ 7 (-22), CW: 0.4/ 1 (no change)

Adults 18-34:

NBC: 2.5/ 8 (-14), Fox: 2.5/ 8 (-19), ABC: 1.7/ 5 (-37), CBS: 1.5/ 5 (no change), CW: 0.4/ 1 (no change)

Top 20
Total Viewers:

NFL Playoff Game 2: New York Jets at Indianapolis (NBC): 33.35 million, NFL Playoff Bridge (NBC): 31.48, NFL Wildcard Post Game (Fox): 24.86, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 15.36, The Mentalist (CBS): 14.88, CSI (CBS): 14.22, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 13.98, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 12.83, The Simpsons (Fox): 12.55, Mike & Molly (CBS): 12.39, CSI: Miami (CBS): 11.98, Modern Family (ABC): 11.83, Undercover Boss (CBS): 11.75, Wipeout (ABC, season premiere): 11.69, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 11.64, Hawaii Five-O (CBS): 10.99, $#*! My Dad Says (CBS): 10.79, Law & Order: SVU (NBC): 10.60, 60 Minutes (CBS): 10.45, NCIS R (CBS, Tues. 10 p.m.): 10.33

-Adults 18-49:

NFL Playoff Game 2: New York Jets at Indianapolis (NBC): 11.8 rating/34 share, NFL Playoff Bridge (NBC): 10.8/34, NFL Wildcard Post Game (Fox): 9.4/25, The Simpsons (Fox): 5.7/14, Modern Family (ABC): 4.8/13, Two and a Half Men (CBS): 4.7/12, Family Guy (Fox): 4.7/11, Bob’s Burgers (Fox, series premiere): 4.5/11, The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 4.4/13, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC): 4.2/11, How I Met Your Mother (CBS): 3.9/11, Desperate Housewives (ABC): 3.9/ 9, Wipeout (ABC, season premiere): 3.8/11, Mike & Molly (CBS): 3.7/ 9, The Cleveland Show (Fox, Sun. 9:30 p.m. – new time period): 3.6/ 9, Rules of Engagement (CBS): 3.4/ 9, The Biggest Loser: Couples (NBC, season premiere) and CSI (CBS): 3.3/ 9 each, The Cotton Bowl (Fox): 3.2/10, The Mentalist (CBS): 3.1/ 9

Total Viewers:

ESPN: 4.39 million, Disney Channel: 2.64, TNT: 2.02, Fox News: 1.95, USA: 1.91, AMC: 1.65, A&E: 1.62, ABC Family: 1.55, Lifetime: 1.50, Nick at Nite: 1.48

Adults 18-49:

ESPN: 1.96 million, USA: 883,000, TNT: 859,000, MTV: 818,000, TBS: 816,000, A&E: 801,000, FX: 775,000, Discovery: 738,000, Lifetime: 681,000, ABC Family: 679,000

Adults 25-54:

ESPN: 1.99 million, TNT: 898,000, USA: 879,000, A&E: 815,000, Discovery: 787,000, FX: 732,000, History: 731,000, Lifetime: 718,000, TBS: 712,000, AMC: 654,000

Adults 18-34:

ESPN: 926,000, MTV: 663,000, TBS: 481,000, ABC Family: 435,000, USA: 415,000, TNT: 396,000, FX: 366,000, ADSM & A&E: 360,000 each, Lifetime: 343,000


Source: Nielsen Media Research data


On the Air Tonight:
Prime-Time Programming Options


Wednesday 1/12/11


 8:00 p.m. The Middle

 8:30 p.m. Better with You

 9:00 p.m. Modern Family

 9:30 p.m. Cougar Town

10:00 p.m. Off the Map (series premiere)

 8:00 p.m. Live to Dance

 9:00 p.m. Criminal Minds (R)

10:00 p.m. The Defenders (R)

 8:00 p.m. Minute to Win It

 9:00 p.m. Minute to Win It

10:00 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (new time)

 8:00 p.m. Human Target

 9:00 p.m. Human Target  


 8:00 p.m. Nikita (R)

 9:00 p.m. Hellcats (R)

New Program Descriptions
Off The Map (ABC)

Three medical residents (Caroline Dhavernas, Mamie Gummer and Enrique Murciano) decide to leave the comforts of the United States to work at a barely staffed medical clinic in a small South American town.

The Reality:

Out of Cougar Town initially, Off the Map does have some marginal lead-in support. And competing Blue Bloods on CBS (which begins a four-week test in the time period on Jan. 19) and relocated Law & Order: SVU on NBC are going after the same audience, so there could very well be room for the very different Off the Map. Considering Shonda Rhimes is likely to drench this scripted hour with lots of steamy relationship melodrama, Off the Map could be the next guilty pleasure.


TV Tidbits:

Notes of Interest

-Justin Bieber Returns to CSI:

Teen sensation Justin Bieber will reprise his guest starring role as a troubled young man in the upcoming Feb. 17th installment of CBS’ CSI. 


-On the Fox Panel Front at The Winter Tour:


Randy Jackson; Ryan Seacrest; executive producers Nigel Lythgoe, Cecile Frot-Coutaz and Ken Warwick; Fox President of Alternative Entertainment Mike Darnell; and new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler were present. Some highlights:


On being the new judges:


Jennifer Lopez: “I think we’re both very spontaneous how we critique each person that’s walked in there. There’s been thousands. So to give a sample would be so you have to tune in to really see and get the full scope of how we judge. I know that’s the big question of the day, but the truth is you are just gonna have to watch. We’re very honest and in the moment with everything that we say and we do.”


Steven Tyler: “I would say that you didn’t bring it. You didn’t bring what we need to see. I would say if we didn’t see it in you and you got too much attitude, you need to bring the full thing. Even though the best of us have the best attitudes, you gotta have the whole deal. You gotta have the voice. You gotta have what it’s all about.”


Nigel Lythgoe: “It’s a lot more about searching for that eventual winner rather than stopping people getting there. And I think in the past we may have been accused of just putting barriers up against them or saying glib remarks to them rather than try to help them through this whole process. At end of the day, it is America that decides, and I would have thought over the amount of years that we’ve done it, America has eventually, whether they’ve made mistakes along the way, always come up with the right winner. Whether it was a good winner that year or not, America’s normally always got it right. They know that their job this season is to try and help those kids and put them on the right paths in order for them to be as good as they can be, which is what a lot of the changes are this year.


On Jennifer Lopez’ style:


Jennifer Lopez: “You’re going to see everything, you know what I mean? You know me. I change it up every single day in my own life. I can only be myself on the show. I’m not going to try to be play it down or play it up or do anything. I’m just going to be me, and that’s always worked for me with the public. They see me; they know that I’m real. And then, you know, it just works, and I don’t want to over-think it too much. I’m a girl who likes to get dressed up, put on her jewelry or her lipstick and go. So that’s what you’ll get.”


On what Steven Tyler’s band-mates think of his new gig:


Stephen Tyler: “You know, everyone’s got their opinion. I just wanted to test my limitations. I wanted to see you know, I’ve always had a saying there’s nothing worth not worth overdoing, and I’ve not done television like this. I’ve never been I’m very vulnerable too. You spot it, you get it. I just wanted to see, you know, if I could be real and if I could pick from all these kids. I mean, 40 years I’ve been on the road developing my own stuff and watching other bands. You got to remember I come from the era where it was you got to blow the band before us off. So it was always competition and competing. And God knows, I’ve been judged all my life for what I do.”


Monday 9 p.m. (effective on Feb. 7)


-The Premise:

This crime drama from The Shield creator Shawn Ryan will follow three sets of law enforcement officers including uniformed beat cops and the female chief of police.  

-Lead-in: House

-The Competition: The Bachelor (ABC) initially, then Dancing with the Stars (ABC), Two and a Half Men (CBS) and Mike & Molly (CBS), The Cape (NBC), Gossip Girl (Fox)

-Who Was There:

Jennifer Beals, Delroy Lindo, Billy Lush, Todd Williams, Devin Kelley, Matt Lauria, Jason Clarke; creator/writer/ executive producer Shawn Ryan; executive producer/writer Tim Minear; and technical advisor John Folino.

-The Scoop:

Shawn Ryan on the show itself:


“The original concept was to try to do a police show in Chicago that kind of made the viewer feel as if they were in the police car with the cops. And it evolved greatly over time. It became a show that I realized I wanted to be about a lot more than just police officers.  So police officers are who we use to look at the city and look at the intersection of politics and its citizenry.  But it became much, much more than I originally intended it.”

-The Reality:

The positive news, of course, is the lead-in support from House, which certainly cannot hurt. But the competition on ABC and CBS is fierce and current occupant Lie to Me is barely making the grade. That said, there is no real season to believe The Chicago Code will break out of the box.


-Chances of Survival for The Chicago Code (based on 1-1 to 10-1):

-Did You Know?:

The Chicago Code is one of many TV series with the name Chicago in it. Remember Chicago Hope, Chicago Sons, Chicago Story and The Chicago Teddy Bears?


Previews on Monday, May 23 and Tuesday, May 24 at 9 p.m. ET, then returns in the fall.

-The Premise:

An ordinary family embarks on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a massive experiment to save the human race.

-Lead-in: TBD

-The Competition: TBD
-Who Was There:

Christine Adams, Mido Hamada, Allison Miller, Landon Liboiron, Naomi Scott, Stephen Lang, Shelley Conn, Jason O’Mara; executive producer/director Alex Graves; executive producer Rene Echevarria; and executive producer/writer Brannon Braga.

-The Scoop:

Brannon Braga on Terra Nova:


“Earth is essentially dying. Most animal life is extinct. They’re hoping to restart humanity through this time fracture they’ve discovered. They’ve built a giant centrifuge around it, a particle accelerator. They’re hoping to send people back to re-colonize Earth essentially and give humanity a second chance. What effect that will have on the future, they’re hoping it’s a positive one, that it will be tweaked. Timeline issues and stuff like that we don’t to get into now because that’s story material further down the line. But that’s their hope, a second chance for humanity.”

-The Reality:

Taking a page from Glee last season, Fox is hoping the two-episode preview in May will whet the audience’s appetite for more next fall.   But the jury is still out, of course, until we find out where the network will be scheduling it.


-Chances of Survival for Terra Nova (based on 1-1 to 10-1):

Cannot be determined without an official time period. 


Tuesday 9:30 p.m. ET (effective on February 8)

-The Premise:

Three longtime friends attempt to balance their relationships with their need for freedom in this relationship driven chuckler. 

-Lead-in: Raising Hope

-The Competition: Dancing with the Stars (ABC), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), The Biggest Loser: Couples (NBC), Hellcats (CW)

-Who Was There:

David Denman, Liza Lapira, Nelson Franklin, Aya Cash; and executive producers Bob Fisher and David Hemingson.

-The Scoop:

The genesis of Traffic Light, according to Bob Fisher:


“It started as an Israeli show that is incredibly funny, and it just won an international Emmy. I was reluctant to adapt it, and part of the reason was that and we’re seeing it this year there have just been so many shows about relationships and about men. And so many of them, frankly, have been bad in the past. When I watch TV shows about relationships, they seemed like people that I didn’t know. They were reflecting relationships that I didn’t have. And so I thought, all right. I’ll do this, and I can really draw on try to make it real and make it willfully un-glib. And I had just had a baby at the time, so I was thinking about these three friends, and I started thinking about my buddy Dave and this other friend of ours, Tad. So for me, in the beginning, this was sort of an affectionate look at male friendship and the relationships we have.”

-The Reality:

The advantage from the get-go is the show Fox will compare this to: former time period occupant Running Wilde, which was a colossal failure. So, the bar is low. But since it is very easy for viewers  to grab from the remote to catch the final half-hour of Dancing with the Stars and The Biggest Loser (which always picks up steam at 9:30 p.m.), Traffic Light faces an uphill battle.


-Chances of Survival for Traffic Light (based on 1-1 to 10-1):


TV Trivia Time:

Not a Spin-Off

Four of the following five sitcoms were actually spun-off from another series. Which one wasn’t?


a)      Checking In

b)      The King of Queens

c)      A Man Called Hawk

d)      The Parkers

e)      Pete and Gladys


The answer to yesterday’s question…


What was Dharma Finkelstein’s middle name on sitcom Dharma & Greg?

a)      Freedom
b)      Rain
c)      Skye
d)      Sunshine
e)      Wind
Is: a) Freedom. And any of the other choices would have been valid also.
-Current kudos goes to:

Gerry Bixenspan, Larry Collins, Phyllis Epstein, Maureen Goldman, Bob Ingersoll, Deb Kainer, Synda Kollman, Steven Kurtzer, Patty Lynch, Michael Murphy, Colleen Roth, Michelle Stanton, Karen Tobin